Friday, April 30, 2010

Enthusiasm Leads to Greatness

"Nothing great in life has ever been achieved without enthusiasm" – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I just read this quote in a book I'm reading, "A New Earth" by Eckart Tolle and it really resonated with me. While I know how great it feels to be enthusiastic about something, I never tied it to greatness. But, as I sit here and think about all those people who have achieved greatness throughout history, it is evident that enthusiasm is at the center of what they do. Winston Churchill for some reason comes to my mind. He was faced with the heavy weight of some incredible challenges, more than any of us will hopefully ever have to endure, but he approached each on of these challenges with a strong belief in his core values and with a sense of enthusiasm that what he was doing was ultimately for a higher purpose.

How often do we check in with ourselves to see if we're approaching our actions with enthusiasm? A great idea will initially excite us and the thoughts of how to bring that great idea to life just seem to flow. That is because we are operating from a place at that moment that is directly connected to the divine source and His vision and purpose for us are just flowing into our lives. When we live a life from a sense of purpose, you cannot help but be enthusiastic. You are riding on the current or energy of life. At that moment of inspiration, we are given a glimpse of the greatness we are each capable of and the guidance on how we can get there. We are of course open to that guidance at that time and allow those thoughts to flow freely. But all too quickly, our ego steps in and before you know it, the potential we saw and all the energy and enthusiasm that accompanied that is now replaced with doubt and uncertainty. "Who am I to think such things" creeps into our mind. Before we know it, we've stepped out of that flow from which inspiration and enthusiasm are born and allowed that inner critic to take over and direct our thoughts and actions. Once we give into that, the enthusiasm is gone. What once inspired us now feels unachievable and more like a burden. Rather than stepping into our greatness, we shrink from it and settle for something far less.

So how do we sustain that flow of inspiration and enthusiasm? First, know when that inner critic has taken over, stare it directly in the face and say "Who am I not to be great!". Embrace the dreams and ideas that are born from inspiration and recognize they were divinely given to you for a very specific reason because your purpose is meant to shine through them. Don't look for all the pieces to be in place before you take action but rather step out in faith without always having all the answers in front of you. Find some quiet time each day to connect to your dreams and ideas. Get lost in the possibilities of what could be. And finally, don't be afraid to ask for help. All too often we feel as though we have to go it alone. We're afraid to ask for help for fear it will allow others to see a perceived weakness or inadequacy within us. Learn to ask "who can help me" versus feeling like it has to be a personal struggle. God did not intend for any of us to go it alone and as such, the path to achieving our purpose will not be reached on our own. He endowed each and every one of us with a unique ability and when embraced and applied towards a much bigger whole, the results can be incredible. Inviting others in magnifies the potential for greatness that lies within us all and allows us to step into our purpose with energy and enthusiasm.

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